Peer Liaisons

The Peer Liaison Program was created to provide an additional layer of mentoring through a wealth of events and initiatives that aim to support first-year students through their transition to Yale College, especially those who belong to systematically minoritized groups. Peer Liaisons (PLs), are a select group of trained, caring upper-class student leaders affiliated with the residential colleges and one of these eight centers/offices: Afro-American Cultural CenterAsian American Cultural CenterChaplain’s OfficeLa Casa Cultural: Latinx Cultural CenterNative American Cultural CenterOffice of International Students & ScholarsOffice of LGBTQ ResourcesStudent Accessibility Services. Each PL program is structured a little differently to meet the distinct needs of each community, but all are designed to help first-year students feel a sense of belonging on-campus.

Co-Head PL and Trumbull AACC PL: Mark Chung

Mark Chung

Pronouns: he/him

Hometown: Seoul, South Korea

Major: History and  Ecology and Evolutionary Biology (E&EB)

What is your favorite food? Galbi (Korean Shortribs)

What is your favorite campus study spot? Gary Okihiro Library (3rd floor of the AACC!)

Welcome to Yale, Class of 2027! My name is Mark and I’m a junior in Trumbull studing History and E&EB on a pre-med track. I will be PLing for Trumbull (the BEST college) this year! I grew up in Seoul, South Korea, but have also lived in Singapore and Massachusetts. On campus I’m involved in the Korean American Students at Yale (KASY), the Yale Buddhist Sangha, Yale EMS, and I conduct research at Yale-New Haven Hospital. At any given time you may find me basking in the Trumbull courtyard, petting Handsome Dan on the sidewalk, or cooking at the AACC while trying to procrastinate. I can’t want to meet you all and show you all the amazing things Yale and the AACC has to offer. Please do not hesitate to reach out with any questions, or if you just want to chat! Boola Boola :)

Co-Head PL and Silliman AACC PL: Zahra Yarali

Zahra Yarali

Pronouns: she/her

Hometown: Murray, Kentucky

Major: Psychology, Modern Middle East Studies, Education Studies 

What is your movie/TV show? I really liked watching the K-Drama “Because this is my First Life” !

What are your hobbies? Reading novels and writing stories

Hi everyone! My name is Zahra Yarali and I am a senior serving as your Silliman PL and co-Head PL this year! I grew up in a small town in western Kentucky and am originally from Iran! I’m in the Education Studies scholars program, and I’m majoring in Psychology and Modern Middle East Studies. I’ve always loved working with and learning alongside kids (in all their genuine curiosity about the world!), and I’m interested in pursuing research that promotes equitable pedagogies of childhood and adolescent education. On campus, I was the President of the Muslim Students Association last year and have helped lead the Persian and MENA student groups on campus as well. I am passionate about reimagining the ways Middle Eastern and North African students can hold space for our diverse cultural heritages and build community while at Yale and specifically with the support of the AACC. I’m so excited for another year working with the AACC this year and I can’t wait to meet all of you in the class of 2027 !!! Please never hesitate to reach out so we can get to know each other :)

Grace Hopper AACC PL: Amy Jiang

Amy Jiang

Pronouns: she/her/hers

Hometown: Westford, MA

MajorEconomics and Ethnicity, Race, & Migration

What is your favorite food? Sichuan food! Top picks: hot pot (火锅), mung bean jelly noodles (伤心凉粉), twice-cooked pork (回锅肉), & mapo tofu (麻婆豆腐)!

What are your favorite artists/bands? SZA, The 1975, Dominic Fike, DEAN, SiR, NewJeans

Welcome to Yale Class of 2027!! My name is Amy Jiang (she/her), a junior and PL for Hopper College! I’m double majoring in Economics and ER&M here at Yale, and am really interested in digital humanities! On campus, I am the Co-President of CASA, the Chinese American Students Association, and have served on the board of AASA, the Asian American Students Alliance, and WGiCS, Women and Gender Minorities in Computer Science (back when I was still a CS major ;-;). In my free time, I love eating spicy food, discovering new music on Spotify, going on walks with my friends, and going swimming! 
My first year at Yale was exciting and fun, yet also so so challenging at times. I hope I can grow to become a source of support and care for you all throughout all those times—ready to sit and listen, cry and rant, cook and bake, walk and talk, or anything in between. Hit me up anytime, I guarantee a speedy reply! Seriously though, can’t wait to meet you all <33

Saybrook AACC PL: Aruna Balasubramanian

Aruna Balasubramanian

Pronouns: she/her/hers

Hometown: Philadelphia, PA

Major: History and Anthropology 

What is your favorite Yale class? Culture & Everyday Life in Central Asia

What are your hobbies? Oil painting, playing the sitar, drinking tea 

Hello and welcome to Yale!!! My name is Aruna, and I’m the PL for Saybrook this year! (Say what? Say-brook!) I’m a rising sophomore in Saybrook from Philadelphia, majoring in Anthropology and History. I’m so excited to meet you, to get to know you, to introduce you to Yale, and to hang out! I’m always happy to grab a meal together, go on a walk, get boba, be study buddies, make cookies, crochet, play MarioKart… Everything. Outside of classes, I’m a Student Guide at the Yale Center for British Art, I go to Yale Political Union debates, I play the sitar, and I oil paint! I also make art and writing for publications, I read books (mainly fiction by female authors), I watch architecture videos on YouTube, I go to guest lectures, I see student plays, and I eat chocolate. I’d love to do some of these things with you. I’m SO looking forward to being your PL! I can’t wait. If you ever need anything – *anything at all* – I’m here. 

Berkeley AACC PL: Gaeun Lee

Gaeun Lee

Pronouns: she/her

Hometown: Belmont, MA

Major: Math/Philosophy or Pure Math

What is your Yale class? First-Order Logic

What is your favorite campus study spot? Tsai City (sunlight is so lovely!!)

Hello lovelies, and welcome to Yale! My name is Gaeun (with the pronunciation “Gwon”) and I’m a sophomore in Berkeley College. I’m a tentative Math/Philosophy joint major even though I dislike calculus. Topics I enjoy, however, include philosophy of logic and the art of binging Netflix. 
I’m a huge music person. I grew up playing classical piano and clarinet, and I was involved in orchestras, chamber trios/quintets, and solo performance. Although classical music holds a special place in my life, my Spotify is full of all kinds of genres - my favorites include Djo, Beach House, and Charlie Brown Holiday Hits. For all of my music lovers out there, I’d love to talk about all the musical opportunities at Yale and beyond!
I love having long, winding conversations and xexploring restaurants in New Haven. On campus, you might find me hibernating in local cafes or consuming ungodly amounts of kombucha and coffee (preferably separately). Please do not hesitate to reach out for resources, advice, or simply a listening ear (me). I am so excited to meet you all and help you be your best selves at Yale. :) 

Pauli Murray AACC PL: Kai Zhang

Kai Zhang

Pronouns: he/him

Hometown: Queens, New York

MajorComputing and the Arts

What is your favorite Yale class? art of the printed word! 

What are your hobbies? basketball, zine-making, and forcing my friends to draw with me

Hi and welcome to Yale , Class of 2027! My name is Kai, a rising sophomore in Davenport majoring in Computing and the Arts. I’m from Queens, New York and grew up playing park basketball with friends and eating so much good food (things we we will definitely be doing together, PLees!). In my free time, I love making zines/comics, finding new music to blast on repeat, and fueling my boba addiction. Some of my fondest memories at Yale so far have been being a part of the Chinese American Student Association (CASA), performing for Danceworks, making dumplings in the college kitchens, and exploring all the creative outlets that Yale has to offer from making posters at the JE letterpress room to playing with clay in the Davenport pottery studio. I’m thrilled to meet all of you and to help you explore all the wonderful resources that are available at Yale. Ask away any questions you have about majors, extracurriculars, and life at Yale, and I’ll always be happy to help. 

Jonathan Edwards AACC PL: Kirin Mueller

Kirin Mueller

Pronouns: he/him

Hometown: Palisades, NY

Major: Cognitive Science (CogSci)

What are your hobbies? playing sitar, swimming, dancing and reading fantasy

What is your favorite campus study spot? Steep

Hi everyone! I’m Kirin, a senior in Jonathan Edwards College from Palisades, New York! I’m majoring in Cognitive Science, am pre-med and am pursuing a certificate in German. On campus, I was co-president of Yale’s South Asian Society and am involved with Accent Multilingual Magazine, Yale Club Swim, and Matriculate. I also love to play the sitar and perform at campus events when I get the chance! Some things I enjoy in my free time are spending time outside on campus, getting far too much boba, and learning languages. I’m beyond excited to be a Peer Liaison for you next year and look forward to meeting you all. Please feel free to reach out to talk about your first year or even just to chat. See you soon!

Berkeley, Grace Hopper, Silliman, Timothy Dwight, and Trumbull AACC-MENA PL: Koosha Maleknia

Koosha Maleknia

Pronouns: he/him/his

Hometown: Grayson, GA

MajorComputer Science & Economics with a certificate in Persian Studies

What is your favorite book? A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini

What is your favorite capus study spot? Tsai City or the cubicles in Bass

Hey everyone! My name is Koosha and I’m a sophomore in Timothy Dwight studying Computer Science and Economics with a certificate in Persian Studies. I grew up in Grayson, Georgia, a small suburb outside of Atlanta. I’m super excited to serve as the AACC-MENA PL for Silliman, Timothy Dwight, Grace Hopper, Berkeley, and Trumbull College! Outside of school, I’m part of the Yale Persian Student Association and involved in computational linguistics research on campus. You can usually find me in the various butteries on campus (usually TD since it’s the best) or trying new foods around New Haven. I also love nature so you might catch me walking aimlessly around campus for fun. I’m always down to chat about campus life, MENA identity, sports, food, or any random topic you want to discuss! I can’t wait to meet you all and please do not hesitate to reach out!!

Timothy Dwight AACC PL: Mahima Kodavati

Mahima Kodavati

Pronouns: she/her

Hometown: Burbank, CA

Major: Economics & Sociology

What is your favorite Yale class? English 120: Home

What are your favorite campus study spot? The Pantry!

Hi, y’all! My name is Mahima, and I’m a junior studying Economics & Sociology. I’m in Davenport College, and I’ll be a PL for Murray! I grew up in Burbank, CA (i.e. the Media Capital of the World — I grew up near Walt Disney Studios, Warner Brother Studios, and around so many actors). On campus, I’m co-president of the South Asian Society, an undergraduate fellow at the South Asian Studies Council, and an economics research assistant. In my free time, I love going for drives, trying new coffee shops, and playing with the Yale women’s rugby team. I am so excited to meet all of you and be a point of contact!

Davenport AACC PL: Maiya Hossain

Maiya Hossain

Pronouns: she/her

Hometown: Cincinnati, OH

Major: History of Science, Medicine, and Public Health (HSHM)

What is your favorite food? Bengali shrimp curry, lox bagels, basically anything with seafood

What is your favorite campus study spot? Sunken Room in Davenport Library!

Welcome to Yale, Class of 2027! :) My name is Maiya and I’m a senior in Davenport College majoring in History of Science, Medicine, and Public Health. I was born in Queens, NYC, and I moved to Ohio when I was six, which is where I grew up for the next eleven years. My family and I moved back to Queens after I graduated high school, so I’ve loved spending the last few years exploring all the neighborhoods. Outside of being a PL, I’m involved in the Yale Bengali Student Association, and I also work as an Academic Strategies Mentor, an ambassador for the Good Life Center, and a research assistant for the School of Public Health. I also love spending time in residential college courtyards and getting matcha lattes from the Elm. I am so excited to meet all of you and to be part of your support system as you begin your journey at Yale. Please don’t hesitate to reach out to me about anything! <3

Branford AACC PL: Michelle Lee

Michelle Lee

Pronouns: she/her/hers

Hometown: Fulton, MD

MajorPolitical Science/Ethnicity, Race, and Migration with Certificates in Human Rights and Korean

What are your favorite movies/TV shows? Parasite, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, Before Sunrise

What are your favorite artists/bands? The Strokes, Steve Lacy, Mitski, Kali Uchis, BIA, Delegation, Earthgang

Hi Class of 2027!!! My name’s Michelle Lee and I’m a sophomore studying Ethnicity, Race, and Migration/Political Science planning on receiving certificates in Human Rights Studies and Korean. On campus I’m involved with the Asian American Student Alliance, the Migration Alliance at Yale, the Yale Undergraduate Prison Project, and the Yale Undergraduate Legal Aid Association. Outside of that you guys will definitely catch me at Koffee doing my readings or at Whale Tea drinking an absurd amount of boba. 
I hope to introduce y’all to my favorite spots on and off campus, eat (+make) a lot of yummy food together, and even have some jam sessions (you can use my guitar and ukulele). My first year was intimidating but the AACC has become a home for me and I’m excited to share this space and that love with y’all! Please don’t hesitate to reach out and ask any unfiltered questions about campus life or just life in general! I’m so excited to meet you guys <3

Benjamin Franklin, Ezra Stiles, Morse, and Pauli Murray AACC-MENA PL: Noor Kareem

Noor Kareem

Pronouns: she/her

Hometown: Dearborn, MI

MajorEthnicity Race & Migration

What is your favorite book? Secrets of Divine Love

What is your favorite campus study spot? the beanjamin <3

Welcome, Class of 2027!!!! My name is Noor, I am a rising junior in Pauli Murray, and I am so so excited to be serving as the MENA PL for Pauli Murray, Ben Frank, Ezra Stiles and Morse this upcoming year. I’m from Dearborn, MI (city with the best food ever). In my free time, I enjoy painting, playing volleyball, crocheting, and writing. I look forward to meeting everyone, please do not hesitate to reach out about anything at all. 

Morse AACC PL: Risha Chakraborty

Risha Chakraborty

Pronouns: she/her

Hometown: San Ramon, California

Major: Neuroscience and Chemistry

What is your favorite movie/TV show? Grey’s Anatomy, Avatar the Last Airbender, The Good Place

What are your favorite campus study spot? The Saybrary!

Hello and welcome Class of 2027!! I am super duper pumped to meet you all! My name is Risha and I’m a junior in Saybrook, but I am the Morse AACC PL! I’m from San Ramon, California and have immense California pride! I’m studying neuroscience and chemistry and want to be a researching physician one day. I currently study Parkinson’s Disease at the medical school and volunteer for the Yale New Haven Hospital and HAPPY (Hypertension Awareness and Prevention Program at Yale). Outside of being a pre-med and a PL, I play trumpet for the Yale Precision Marching Band, Yale Concert Band, La Orquesta Tertulia, and tend to do a few shows every semester. I also enjoy writing about science and am part of the Yale Scientific Magazine. When I’m not doing something that can be partitioned into the productivity category, I really enjoy cracking jokes at demon hours with my friends, colonizing Saybrary rooms under the pretense of doing work, and cloud-watching on Cross Campus. I’m so excited to get to know you and share AACC Choco Pies, boba, and sunset walks.  I’m always down to listen and chat about being Asian, a first-year, a Yalie, or anything else! Please feel free to reach out at any point!

Branford, Davenport, Jonathan Edwards, Pierson, and Saybrook AACC-MENA PL: Satia Hatami

Satia Hatami

Pronouns: she/her

Hometown: Orange County, California!

MajorComputer Science and Mathematics with a certificate in Energy Studies

What is your favorite Yale class? Discrete Mathematics (taught by John Hall specifically!)

What is your favorite campus study spot? The School of Environment or HQ!

Hey there! My name is Satia and I’m a Junior at Yale majoring in Computer Science and Mathematics with a certificate in Energy Studies. Beyond academics, I’m honored to serve as the AACC-MENA PL for Davenport, Pierson, Jonathan Edwards, Branford, and Saybrook College. On top of that, I’m part of the Yale Society of Women Engineers board, where I hold the position of Media Chair. You can also find me at the Saybrook College Office where I work as an Aide (Saywhat?!). In my free time, I enjoy taking explorative walks around campus with my friends. I fear I’ll never uncover everything there is to appreciate about our sprawling campus, but I’m determined to try! I’m super excited to be a part of the inaugural MENA PL team at the AACC, and I’m more than happy to share my experiences and answer any questions about life at Yale, so feel free to reach out anytime! 

Benjamin Franklin AACC PL: Tony Ruan

Tony Ruan

Pronouns: he/him

Hometown: Phoenix, AZ

MajorPolitical Science/Ed Studies

What is your favorite Yale class? Third World Studies with Professor Okihiro <3

What are your hobbies? I play saxophone and guitar!

Welcome to Yale <3! We are so excited to get to know you. My name is Tony (he/him) and I was born and raised in the West Valley in Phoenix, Arizona. I’m a junior in Benjamin Franklin College (as well as the lucky PL for this beautiful community), and I’m a Political Science Major as well as in the Education Studies Scholars program. On campus, I’m one of the three co-moderators of the Asian American Students Alliance (AASA), Yale’s oldest Asian American organization founded in 1969 and centered on exploring, reflecting, and advocating through an Asian American political identity. Meetings are open to all! In my free time, I love walking and talking, working as one of the Recording Studio Managers in Benjamin Franklin (Franklin AACC PLees yall are going to be dropping an EP soon), and watching great performances on campus!

Pierson AACC PL: William Hin

William Hin

Pronouns: he/him/his

Hometown: Garden Grove, California

Major: Ethics, Politics, and Economics

What is your favorite movie/TV show? Everything Everywhere All at Once

What is are your favorite artists/bands? SZA, Doja Cat, Beyoncé, Clairo, Kali Uchis, and Don Toliver

Welcome to Yale, Class of 2027! I’m William Hin, a junior in Pierson studying Ethics, Politics, and Economics. On campus, I’m involved with the Yale Undergraduate Legal Aid Association, Yale Danceworks, Pierson College Council, and the Southeast Asian Movement at Yale. In my free time, I love taking walks, dancing to hip hop and R&B music,  drinking boba, cooking, and giving hugs! Most importantly, I love spending quality time with friends and getting to know new people, so please reach out if you want to dance, grab boba, or go for a walk! I’m so excited to meet you all and help make your first year at Yale as enjoyable as possible! I’m always here as a source of support and care, so feel free to reach out about anything at all! 

Ezra Stiles AACC PL: Xander Calicdan

Xander Calicdan

Pronouns: he/him

Hometown: Hilo, HI

Major: Molecular, Cellular, and Developmental Biology (MCDB)

What is your favorite book? Joy Luck Club by Amy Tan

What is your favorite campus study spot? Sterling Chemistry Laboratory (SCL) 2nd floor lounge

Hi everyone!! My name is Xander Calicdan, I’m a rising junior in Saybrook, and I’m from Hilo, Hawai’i on the Big Island! I’m currently a Molecular, Cellular, and Developmental Biology (MCDB) major and am hoping to go to medical school. I’m currently involved with Kasama: the Filipinx Club at Yale, and work at the Saybrook buttery (the Sqüiche)! A few of my favorite Yale pastimes: searching for new study/nap spots, trying every menu item at Commons,  and supporting friends at various performing arts shows. I am so so excited to meet all of you – PLEASE feel free to reach out about anything and everything you want to chat about, I’d love to get to know all of you! Can’t wait for the upcoming year :-)